Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain

I’ve read my fair share of books on introversion, and I have a few favorites. One I like for its humor, one I like for speaking into my Christian niche, and this one, well, I like it for making me smarter. If I were to teach a class on introversion, I’d use Quiet as my primary textbook.

Quiet is thoroughly researched across several fields: history, biology, psychology, sociology, even some anthropology. I love learning, and I had so many “Ahhhhh, that makes so much sense” moments while reading this book. I was hooked from chapter one where Cain goes back in American history to remind us of an era where quiet and reflective (typically associated with introversion, although they are not direct correlations) were valued more than assertiveness and charisma (typically associated with extroversion–again, not direct correlations). Cain never places any value judgments on the introverted vs extroverted ways of doing things. She simply acknowledges that there are (and have been) differences, and that when we embrace our differences our relationships, our workplaces, and all other parts of our society can thrive.

Quiet is definitely one of those books that attract people who like to learn, but it’s not overly-technical or mechanical-sounding like a textbook would be. Cain writes in a personable, anecdotal, readable way. If you are looking for a slightly more (but not overly) “heady” book on introversion (and a bit of a longer one at 266 pages before all the extra notes in the back), then look for Quiet at your local bookstore or online. Maybe you, too, will learn a great deal about yourself or about an introvert you love through this valuable resource.